HughPickens.com writes: Ben Popper writes at The Verge that bitcoin's nightmare scenario has come to pass as the bitcoin network reached its capacity, causing transactions around the world to be massively delayed, and in some cases to fail completely. The average time to confirm a transaction has ballooned from 10 minutes to 43 minutes. Users are left confused and shops that once accepted Bitcoin are dropping out. For those who want the Bitcoin system to continue to grow and thrive, this is troubling. Merchants can't rely on digital transactions that can take minutes or hours to validate. A number of prominent voices in the Bitcoin community have been warning over the past year that the system needed to make fundamental changes to its core software code to avoid being overwhelmed by the continued growth of Bitcoin transactions. A schism has developed between the team in charge of the original codebase for Bitcoin, known as Core, and a rival faction pushing its own version of that open source code with a block size increase added in, known as Classic. "Many in the US Bitcoin community had hoped that hitting this crisis point — a network maxed out, transactions faltering — would result in closure, with miners quickly moving to adopt whichever chain proved more valuable to their economic interests," says Popper. "But so far the debate is dragging on without one side claiming a clear victory, leaving tens of thousands of consumer transactions stranded in limbo."